Archive for month: January, 2024

Predisposition to specific physical activities may vary among children, but it is essential to understand that predisposition is not destiny. Instead, it serves as a guide to help us offer a diverse range of opportunities that cater to the individual needs of our students. 

In this blog post, we will explore actionable steps teachers can take to foster physical activity and promote a lifelong love for movement and health in their elementary school students.

Embrace Diversity in Physical Education 

Incorporate various physical activities in the curriculum to cater to students’ diverse interests and capabilities. Traditional sports are essential, but don’t shy away from introducing lesser-known sports or those from different cultures. This approach not only encourages inclusivity but also opens doors for students who might excel in non-mainstream activities.

Foster Exploration Through Intramurals and Informal Competitions

Beyond formal PE classes, organize intramurals and informal competitions that allow students to explore and develop their interests further. Create opportunities for students to participate in various activities and discover their strengths and passions.

Encourage Play and Experimentation

Recess and free-play are vital components of a child’s day, offering unstructured time to explore physical movement. Provide novel equipment and a safe space for students to experiment with different activities and develop their skills.

Distributed Practice for Skill Development

When teaching physical skills, consider employing distributed practice instead of mass practice. Distributed practice involves revisiting skills on different occasions, allowing the brain to consolidate learning over time. This approach is more effective for young learners and those with less motivation for physical activities.

Provide Constructive Feedback

Correcting errors is an integral part of helping students improve their physical skills. Offer constructive feedback promptly after mistakes, focusing on specific adjustments to enhance their performance.

In conclusion, every child is unique, and their predisposition to physical activities varies. By embracing inclusivity, fostering exploration, and using effective teaching strategies, we can nurture a lifelong love for movement and health in our elementary school students. 

For more on predispositions, and how to support your students’ varied abilities and interests, check out our Predispositions resource. Looking for activities to try with your students’? Register for PLAYBuilder — it’s free to B.C. educators! 

Here are some further resources to check out as well: 

As educators, we are responsible for providing a comprehensive and inclusive learning experience for our students. Indigenous games are a source of physical activity and an opportunity for students to learn the deep-rooted spiritual significance and traditions of the First Nations peoples. 

Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity

Indigenous games hold deep-rooted spiritual and cultural significance for many Indigenous communities, including the Haudenosaunee, the originators of lacrosse. Traditionally known as Tewaarathon, or “little brother of war,” lacrosse is more than just a sport; it is a highly ceremonial event to honour the Creator. Through these games, communities come together to celebrate, heal, and support one another, especially during times of loss.

By incorporating Indigenous games into our physical education curriculum, we create an opportunity to honour and respect the diverse cultures of our students. Introducing the historical context and significance of lacrosse helps students understand the deeper meaning behind the game, going beyond the surface of athletics. Educators can instill cultural awareness and appreciation while fostering essential movement skills.

Incorporating Lacrosse into Your Class’ Learning

This blog introduces two exciting activities from the resource “Games Celebrating Indigenous Ways of Knowing”. These activities not only focus on developing essential movement skills but also introduce the sport of lacrosse to students:

Popcorn Lacrosse

“Popcorn Lacrosse” is a dynamic tag game that embraces the excitement of running with a lacrosse stick while maintaining control of the ball or beanbag.

  • Set up a 20-meter playing field and equip students with lacrosse sticks and balls. For our younger students (K–3), provide beanbags for cradling, while older students (Grades 4–7) can use lacrosse balls. 
  • Designate one or two students as taggers, and let the game begin! 
  • The objective is simple – students must travel across the field without getting tagged. 
  • A tag occurs when a tagger pops the ball or beanbag out of a student’s stick. 
  • If tagged, the student joins the taggers’ team and tries to pop the beanbag from other students’ sticks. 
  • The game continues until only one student remains – the ultimate popcorn popper champion!

Cradle the Rock

“Cradle the Rock” takes students on an exhilarating obstacle course designed to develop agility, balance, and endurance. 

  • Create a course with cones, hurdles, and directional changes not exceeding 20 meters. Divide students into teams of 3–4 and provide each team with a lacrosse ball. 
  • On the educator’s signal, the first student on each team races through the obstacle course, cradling the lacrosse ball in their stick. 
  • Dropping the ball requires the student to start over. 
  • Once they complete the course successfully, they pass the ball to the next teammate in line. The first team to have all members complete the course wins the round.

Incorporating Indigenous games like “Popcorn Lacrosse” and “Cradle the Rock” not only fosters essential movement skills but also serves as a gateway to understanding the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous communities. By embracing diversity and inclusivity in our physical education programs, we create an environment that respects and celebrates the traditions and history of Indigenous peoples. 

Looking for more activities like these? Visit the Indigenous Resources webpage on our website, to access resources like Linking Indigenous Cultural Sports and Activities to Physical Literacy.